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NJ High School Students Given Phone Use, Long Lunch

LINWOOD, N.J. (AP) -- The school bell rang at Mainland Regional High School, and minutes later so did Jessica Figueroa's cell phone, but the senior from Linwood didn't panic or try to hide the phone in her backpack.

She answered it as around her other students texted on their way to lunch, telling friends where they would meet them or checking a message from Mom.

Cell phones, banned from use at most schools or hidden away in backpacks or lockers, are openly displayed between classes at Mainland as one of many new changes this year in how the school operates.

The core of the program is academic -- making better use of time and improving education. But the new plan also gives students more privileges and responsibilities, along with serious penalties for violations.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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